Spies of Our Acquaintance

A close-up of an old-fashioned typewriter displays the words "rewrite...edit...rewrite...edit...rewrite"
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Final edits for Spies of Our Acquaintance have been submitted! This novella is part of the Meryton Press Skirmishes and Scandal series.

Here’s a little book teaser for you:

When Mr Darcy apologizes for insulting her at the Meryton Assembly, Elizabeth Bennet begins to see another side to the gentleman she had sworn to hate forever. As their acquaintance begins to grow into friendship, Elizabeth finds herself intrigued by this man from Derbyshire.

For his part, Darcy cannot seem to get Miss Elizabeth Bennet out of his head. When Mr Wickham—a villain from Darcy’s past—shows up in Meryton, Darcy is resolved to warn Elizabeth. However, Wickham turns out to be involved in a plot to undermine British relations with Russia, and Darcy and Elizabeth find themselves captured by a Russian spy.

With reputations and hearts on the line, they must work together to find a way to escape. Just what will the true consequences of their adventure be?

Now it’s on to cover design!

Interrupted Plans – Publication Day!

The picture is of the cover of Brigid Huey's new book, Interrupted Plans. A painting of a lady in a long pink and green gown sitting on a bench is set on a peach background. The lady is looking out onto some trees with a pensive look.

Can we just take a moment to adore this cover art? Thank you so very much to Janet Taylor who designed the cover for Interrupted Plans! This painting is by Armand Point, the gentleman who painted Reminiscing by the Pond, the painting that serves as the cover for A Chance Encounter in Pemberley Woods.

Interrupted Plans is now available on Amazon in ebook or paperback format!

Let’s have a look at the back cover, too!

The picture is of the full spread of the book jacket for Interrupted Plans. The front cover has a woman in a pink and green dress with the author's name and book title. The back of the cover includes a few paragraphs about the book and a picture of an old-fashioned carriage.

Suppose Elizabeth Bennet never visited Pemberley…

It is October of 1812. Elizabeth Bennet and her family have seen dramatic changes in the past few months—none of them welcome. Her sister Jane needs a fresh start, and Elizabeth is no less eager to leave behind the pain and confusion of not accepting Mr. Darcy’s proposal.

Fitzwilliam Darcy has not seen Elizabeth since he offered for her—and she adamantly refused him. When she appears in London, he is determined to gain her friendship and make amends. When a carriage mishap throws them together, Darcy does all he can to demonstrate his changed behavior.

Though their renewed acquaintance seems to be growing into a genuine friendship, a family secret constrains Elizabeth. As she falls deeper in love with the man she rejected, does she dare tell him the truth?

Thank you to everyone who helped make this book possible. I hope you all enjoy!

Hello, Archer.

I’ve been researching quantum physics for my current WIP. It’s a little story I’m calling Archer. It’s a romance, of course, but it also has some science-y science stuff going on, and that requires a fair bit of research from me.

So I’m listening to Carlo Rovelli’s The Order of Time. Carlo Rovelli is a theoretical physicist from Italy who works primarily on quantum gravity. He is one of the creators of this theory called loop quantum gravity. They are trying to reconcile Einstein’s Theory of Relativity with quantum physics. (My apologies to Carlo and all physicists for butchering that.)

I have to tell you, it’s both fascinating and mind-boggling. If you don’t understand any of this, no worries. His books are actually super accessible for the average reader. If you’re interested, his website lists some of his publications.

Also, the audiobook is narrated by Benedict Cumberbatch. So…yeah. Go ahead and pretend that Dr. Strange is explaining time to you while you avidly take notes.

Coming Soon to a Bookshelf Near You!!

A tall bookshelf full of books stretches into the distance. Old fashioned bulb lights hang from the ceiling, creating a cozy vibe.
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Interrupted Plans will be released NEXT MONTH! I am so excited to finally be able to share this full-length novel with you all. I love this story. It’s got snow storms, carriage accidents, new rivals, and a touch of scandal. Plus, lots of zinging, romantic scenes between my all-time favorite couple, Darcy and Elizabeth.

More updates to come!

Unexpected Roadblock

An anime woman with blue jean shorts and a red tank top eats a pasty while leaning against a windowsill. The character is Ursula from Studio Ghibli's Kiki's Delivery Service.

You might remember me writing about Guardians sometime last year. It’s my latest WIP, and so far I’ve really enjoyed crafting the story. It’s got guardian angel-like beings, magical overlords, and romance. Or at least, I thought it had romance.

My two main characters were supposed to fall in love and save each other. But they’re just not cooperating. Their romance is so…meh. I can’t seem to make their attraction believable or rewarding to read about. It’s a mess.

Meanwhile, two sets of other characters are hellbent on making their romances the center of the story. This is a new problem for me. Usually, I dream up an interaction between two characters and the rest comes from there.

So I’m more than 30,000 words into a story that I’m starting to not care about. It’s a roadblock, to say the least. I think my creative juices have just stalled a bit. Can juices stall? It’s January in the middle of a pandemic and some people just mobbed the Capital Building (yep, I went there), so maybe creative mind is just feeling a bit stifled.

For now, I’m putting it aside. Just like that wonderful scene in Kiki’s Delivery Service when Ursula says, “Stop trying. Take long walks. Look at the scenery. Doze off at noon. Don’t even think about [writing].”

And so, I’ll practice yoga and martial arts, take my kids to the park when the sun comes out, use my new watercolor pens, and stop trying to make Ella and Robbie work things out.

Maybe they’re just good friends.

Take care, dear readers. Be well.

Music to Write By – Guardians

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Pexels.com

Well, hello October. You snuck in, didn’t you?

In-between grappling with Halloween Covid choices (treat or treating? pumpkin patches?) and costume creation, I have been working on a brand new story. For those of you who are keeping track, yes, I am still in edits for my latest publication, Interrupted Plans.

This work, which I’m calling Guardians for now, is a young adult fantasy romance. I guess. Genres aren’t really my thing. I had the initial spark of an idea about three years ago, but suddenly it’s taken off in my brain and I can’t brainstorm anything else but this.

Guardians is, like all my work, a romantic tale. There are star-crossed lovers, there are magical beings, and there is a big evil dude bent on the acquisition of power. There may be two interwoven plot lines. There are definitely angel wings.

Those of you who have followed me for a while will know that whenever I begin a new project, I begin a new playlist. (Insert rant about Google’s new changes to Play Music here).

Today I want to share a few of my new musical discoveries. First up, Atlas: Hearing by Sleeping at Last:

Is that not a magical piece of music? It screams for writing. My fingers itch just listening to it. Another new favorite is Run by Ludovico Einaudi:

It is so good! Poetic and sweeping and just darn lovely. It fits one of my characters perfectly. It’s sort of become her theme song.

I hope your October is full of joy. Take care and stay well.

Music to Write By – Interrupted Plans

Another Installment

Hello, dear readers. I’m back to share with you my latest additions to my writing playlist. If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you’ll know that music is essential for my writing mojo. When I start a new work, I create a new playlist. It’ll usually be filled with instrumental pieces, but occasionally songs with words get in there too.

I have a favorite playlist that I continually add to, which I’ve called “Historical Romance.” I’m creative like that. This is what I listened to while writing Interrupted Plans.

The Songs

The first piece I’m sharing today is called “The Northbound Train” from the BBC adaptation of North & South by Elizabeth Gaskell. It’s composed by Martin Phipps, a favorite of mine. Take a listen:

It’s just so good! The next piece is from a soundtrack near and dear to my heart. “Leaving London,” from Patrick Doyle’s Sense and Sensibility soundtrack. This track is particularly relevant to the story line of Interrupted Plans!

If you have never listened to much Patrick Doyle or Martin Phipps, please, please, please check them out. So much loveliness! Take care, dear readers. Stay well.

P.S. If you’re interested, check out more of my Music to Write By series, click the Music to Write By tag below.

An Introduction to Introductions

Description=Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle as Mr Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in a dramatisation of Jane Austen’s “Pride & Prejudice” for the BBC, pictured at Harrow School, Harrow on the Hill – 28.08.1994. Copyright Alan Weller / The Times.

I thought I had a pretty good handle on how to address a lady or gentleman of the Regency Period. In the midst of editing my latest novel, however, I’ve learned so much about the intricacies of this seemingly simple occurance. A man walks in, he says hello, the lady responds. That’s it, right?

Oh, no. There is so much more to it.

A primer

One of the things I learned through reading various blog posts was that a gentleman must ask to be introduced to a lady. And the lady may decline! She could just say, no and walk away. I find it fascinating how behaviors change over time. I feel like you couldn’t pull that off today without being called rude. Back in the Regency period, it was considered a way that a lady could protect herself from unwanted acquaintances.

Also, a person of higher rank must acknowledge you first. If they do not ask for an introduction, you cannot. Think Mr Collins embarrassing Elizabeth by going up and introducing himself to Mr Darcy, a man of superior rank. Gasp!

This knowledge has been incredibly helpful to me while crafting my stories. If you’re interested in learning more, check out these blog posts:

Making Introductions in Jane Austen’s World by Maria Grace

Introductions in the Regency Era from Historical Romance Review

10 Dos and Don’ts to Become a Lady in Regency England from The History Collection

Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Let’s just take a minute to bask in the beauty of this fairy tale castle. Culzean Castle is located on the Ayrshire Cliffs of Maybole, which is on the Eastern coast of Scotland. After a little research, I picked this castle as the home of one of my characters in my current work in progress. His name is Mr Wessex, and he inherited this place from his mother’s family. Lucky guy, huh?

Mr Wessex moves from the South of England to Scotland upon his inheritance. He refuses to give up on the castle, which is my story is in need of repair and fresh funds. In actuality, this castle was built in late 18th century, maybe 30 years or so before Mr Wessex comes to own it.

I love writing fiction. Need a problem? Invent one! Need a solution? Create it!

The real Culzean Castle was designed by a gentleman named Robert Adam. Though he grew up in Scotland, Robert Adam traveled to mainland Europe to take in as much architectural knowledge as possible. When he returned to England in 1758, he and his brother John began to work hard to establish themselves. Eventually, their style came to be known as the Adam style. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “The Adam style was marked by a new lightness and freedom in the use of the classical elements of architecture—a fresh combination of many architectural elements.” Check out the full article here for more fascinating info about Robert Adam.

The oval staircase at Culzean Castle. Photo courtesy of National Trust for Scotland